Osteoporosis is a disease of bone in which bone mineral density (BMD) is reduced and bone micro-architecture is disrupted. Prevention is the most important way to address osteoporosis and reduce the risk of fracture.
Osteoporotic fractures are those that occur under slight amounts of stress that would not normally lead to fractures in non-osteoporotic people. Typical fractures occur in the vertebral column, hip and wrist. More women suffer from osteoporosis than men due to the role of hormones in bone health.
There are various risk factors for osteoporosis:
- Oestrogen deficiency in women
- Advanced age
- Low body weight
- Thyroxine excess (overactive thyroid; over-treatment with thyroxine)
- Prolonged intake of steroid prescriptions
- Low calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K2
- Intake of carbonated soft drinks
- Inadequate physical activity (especially load-bearing)
- Medications that interfere with mineral absorption from the diet, such as antacids and proton pump inhibitors.
Osteopenia is a condition that can lead to osteoporosis due to reduced bone mineral density. However, not every person diagnosed with osteopenia will develop osteoporosis.
How do we prevent and treat osteoporosis?
Hormones play a key part in the development and protection of our bones. At the Marion Gluck Clinic we routinely treat patients who have been diagnosed with osteopenia or are concerned about age-related decline in bone density.
To determine a personalised treatment plan of hormones, minerals and vitamins, we undertake a comprehensive consultation, together with appropriate tests, including a DEXA bone density scan. Thorough evaluation of bone density is made prior to treatment, and annually during treatment.
The hormones oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone, and vitamin D, play a vital part in maintaining and improving bone density. By balancing and replenishing these hormones, we can increase bone density in the majority of patients.